Adobo Fried Chicken & Dipping Sauce

We have always been fans of The Mind of a Chef and this latest season has been no exception.Ed Lee has a refreshing quality to him that is as comfortable to watch as a home cook and this understanding of food that far surpasses his experience. It is this combination that keeps me coming back for more and makes me anxious to try his recipes.

It is an annual tradition to cook fried chicken at least once every summer season and the perfect accompaniment to any long, hot day. This year we decided to give Ed Lee’s take a try and love the asian elements he has adopted to a traditional staple recipe.

You start with an Adobo broth that both brines and simmers the chicken, par-cooking it and giving the meat  a great base layer of flavour. He states in the episode that he understands that this is sacrilege to some die hard fans. He is all about exploring new ways to recreate traditional styles and I have to agree this is a great way to add flavour and cut down on frying time. If you don’t have a deep-fryer then I believe this step is essential otherwise the oil gets too absorbed into the meat and the temperature is easier to maintain over a short period of time.

You can watch his episode here.

I love the addition of the dipping sauce. I think next time I would also chop up some scallion very finely too. I served the dish with simple tart greens and some pickles and cornbread. I think next time it would be nice to carry on the asian influence and do a bunch of pickled radish.

Enjoy!

Ingredients
Method

Adobo-Fried Chicken with Dipping Sauce

 
 
Adobo Broth:
2½ cups
White vinegar
1½ cups
Water
3
Garlic cloves, finely minced
4
Bay leaves
1½ teaspoons
Black peppercorns, whole
1 teaspoon
Sugar
¼ cup
Soy sauce
½ teaspoon
Red chile flakes
1 teaspoon
Salt
 
 
 
Chicken:
2 pounds
Chicken, thighs and/or drumsticks
 
Salt
1 cup
 Flour
1 teaspoon
Paprika
½ teaspoon
Black pepper, freshly ground
approx 8 cups
Oil for frying, we used canola
 
 
 
Dipping Sauce:
¼ cup
Water
3 tablespoons
Lemon juice (use fresh)
2 tablespoons
Maple syrup
2 tablespoons
Fish sauce
1 tablespoon
Soy sauce
2
Peppers, (thai bird) thinly sliced
 



Adobo Broth:

In a large pot, combine all the ingredients, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, then turn the heat down as low as it will go.
Arrange the chicken pieces on a work surface and season them with salt. Add the chicken pieces to the gently simmering broth, cover, and poach for 15 minutes, turning once halfway through. You want the chicken to poach gently and stay moist while picking up the flavor of the broth, so make sure the liquid does not get hotter than a gentle simmer. Turn off the heat and allow the chicken to cool in the liquid, covered, about 20 minutes.
Remove the chicken pieces from the adobo broth (discard the broth) and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Pat dry.

 

Dipping Sauce:

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Can make a day or two ahead. The longer a sauce like this has to marry all the ingredients, the better.

 

Chicken:

Pour the buttermilk into a large shallow bowl.

In a bag (plastic or paper) combine the flour, 1 teaspoon salt, the paprika and the pepper.

Dip each chicken piece in the buttermilk, shake off any excess liquid, dredge in the flour mixture, turning to coat and transfer to a large plate. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. The flour coating will turn a little soft – that's a good thing.
Meanwhile, fill a large, deep cast-iron skillet about half-full with oil. Heat the oil to 365˚F. The key to great fried chicken is in the heat of the oil so invest in a digital thermometer.

Cook the chicken pieces 2 or 3 at a time for 8 to 10 minutes, turning every minute or so, depending on how thick the pieces of chicken are; wings will cook faster and drumsticks will take the longest. Be sure to keep the oil temperature at around 350˚F to 365˚F. The chicken is cooked when the internal temperature reaches at least 165˚F.

Using tongs, lift the chicken out of the oil and drain on paper towels. Season again with a little salt, and transfer to a platter.
Serve the fried chicken with the dipping sauce. Eat it hot!